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Krys Stanley

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  1. No. I asked at lunch today and they don't sell Pasteis de Nata. BUT they recently started opening at 8:30 am when they sell fresh Portuguese baked goods and some light breakfast items. The waiter said that the selection was on the whim of the chef. Morning pastries are served Wednesday thru Sunday, 8:30 to 11:30. If the baked goods are as wonderful as my dessert or the wonderful rolls, it is worth stopping in. The rolls are available for take out. Six rolls will cost you $4.50. There are a limited selection of Portuguese Cheeses, meat, fish, sweets and canned goods. I wonder if the white corn flour they sell is what is used to make those terrific rolls? There are three types of linquicia ... regular, hot and Caseira. The cheeses, Topo s. George, Casteloes and Sierra de Estralia, sadly are not the house made cheeses. Boneless bacalhou is sold. Various canned olives, beans, peppers, mixed vegetables are available. The sweets include Maria Viera cookies, Marmelada (quice jelly), nine islands chocolates and regina chocolates.
  2. A new chef started at Capton Place in August and he got a rave from Patricia Unterman. Campton Place is right in Union Square and only is doing lunch for DAT. I had a ok lunch for DAT at Farralon a few years ago. Interesting restaurant, but their DAT selections were very scaled down from their regular items. It was the soup or salad, salmon, creme brulee deal.
  3. You can get Pasteis de nata at Hiser bakery in Hayward or the Portuguese Bakery in Santa Clara. Thanks so much for giving them a name. I'm just learning about Portuguese baking and I thought they were very yummy custard tarts. I haven't tried the one at the Portuguese Bakery, but I liked the one at Hiser very much. They have these little macroon like tarts as well. Do you have a name for those? The tarts at both bakeries look more like the picture above rather than the picture in the link. Hiser and Portuguese bakery are old fashioned type of bakeries. They probably don't have the same level of deliciousness that La Salette has. It's sort the the Portugues equivalent of comparing the baked goods at Neldhams to Tartine. Anyway, I'm going to look for this when I go this week. I liked the hiser verstion very much.
  4. What a wonderful post, especially since I happen to be in the middle of educating myself about Portuguese food and what is available in the Bay Area. This looks outstanding. Those rolls, were they like a flat bread or like a regular roll? I see from their site that they mention a bakery. Is that so or is it just that they bake their own goods and serve them in the restaurant? I would like to try it this week. Could you or one of the other people who attended the dinner suggest what you think would be the one best appetizer, entree and dessert to choose? ... that cheese plate does look wonderful. Do they make their own Linguica? Also, I love port. Gee, I hope this is in reasonable driving distance from me so I can visit more than once.
  5. I’m about to update the list with the places suggested in this thead. Thanks so much for the great additions. If you see any others, let me know. In another thread, Alexis Baking Company in Napa was mentioned. Is it a bakery on its own right and not just a café? Should it be recommended? Here’s what is being added. I realize that Wine shops were not on the original document, but there were a few suggestions, so I added those. SAN FRANCISCO / EAST BAY Bakeries and Bread Destinations Ethnic shops Korean Plaza, Oakland. Meat and Seafood Markets Drewes Brothers Wine Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant K & L Wines Plumpjack The Jug Shop SOUTH BAY Bakeries and Bread Sogo Bakery - Fremont Ethnic shops Crossroads World Market Hayward, Palo Alto Farmers Markets & Farms Coast Ways Ranch, - Pescadero Phipps Ranch - Pescadero Swanton Berry Farm - Davenport Markets Archangeli Market (bread) - Pescadero Shopper's Corner - Santa Cruz, DeLuxe Foods - Santa Cruz, NORTH OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE Bakeries and Bread Artisan Bakers – Sonoma Basque Boulagerire (bread) – Sonoma Bouchon Bakery- Napa Divine Delights - Petaluma J.M. Rosen's Cheesecake - Petaluma This article also mentioned these places. I only want to add places posters have actually tried. If you haven’t tried them, the article mentions the specialties of each places Boonville General Store, Boonville (bakery or market?) Bovine Bakery - Point Reyes Station Brickery at Cafe Beaujolais - Mendocino FULL CIRCLE BAKING COMPANY- Penngrove Model Bakery - Yountville, Santa Rosa Junior College Culinary Cafe Bakery, Santa Rosa Village Bakery - Sebastopol Wild Flour Bread - Freestone Farmers Markets & Farms Sonoma Tuesday night Farmers Market Markets Dean & DeLuca - St. Helena Jimtown Store - Healdsburg Nonna's - Sonoma Oakville Grocery, - Oakville Sonoma Market - Sonoma Vallergas - Napa Meat and Seafood Markets Osprey Fish Market - Napa, Wine Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Provisions - Napa The Wine Exchange - Sonoma
  6. Thanks all. It seems I have myself a new little food interest to explore and I'm not even done with my search for Portuguese (post to come sometime next week). I am so curious about the Korean Markets with delis and bakeries because I just had no clue. I was going to post on the general food topics board on eGullet for other parts of the country that have these, but there were mentions in a couple of threads, so I'll read through those first before posting in the general food board here. There was even a mention of Korean markets in Paris like Hana by La Motte-Picquet. Who knew? Anyway, back to the Bay Area, do little Mom and Pop markets iaround here have takeout food? Good to know. Those little garlic cloves in the red sauce. you don't just eat those as is, do you? Are they hot? My scedule is such that I was just going to throw a print out of this post in the back of the car for when I am in the area. I tend to go off hours to places to avoice the crowds. THe weekends seemed pretty crazy. Next time I go, I'l jot down some names to ask about. What about Korean beverages? I only glanced quickly in the dairy section so to speak. Ohhhh, squash not pumpkin. That explains it. Your description of that but has me salivating. I'm sorry it is no longer there. If the pumpkin is average, any other fillings to look for? I really liked the sweet roll part and it would be a good alternative to a Danish. That really was a nice little bakery. The stuff was really fresh. Hest88, Thanks for the tip about the crackers and roasted seaweed. Would those be found in the cracker section or the bakery? I thought I saw some cookies in the bakery. Hmmm, it just says Korean Plaza outside. I hadn't considered that the interior could be owned by different people and thus the word "Plaza". It is on Telegraph just off of Grand. At any rate, as I stop by I'll be posting back on my hits or misses. I'm psyching myself up on that green stuff.
  7. Funny, I just told someone most of this recently. 1. What type of cuisine did you grow up eating? I consider myself a native Californian because I've been here a few decades. I grew up in Connecticut in an Irish Catholic town. As a third generation 100% Polish American (how common is that in the US), we were considered ethnic. You were not proud of ethnicity at that time in America. You wanted to be an American. I remember at school all the other kids bringing their Wonder Bread sandwiches with the crusts cut off and little perfect bags of carrots. There I was with a sardine sandwich on rye that would leak through the brown paper bag. In the town I grew up in, to marry outside of your ethnicity was a scandal. The town primarily had Irish, Italians, French, Germans and Poles. There was one Chinese restaurant run by Caucasians and I remember cans of Chung King on the shelves. There were some Puerto Ricans in town, but that was really too exotic for the Europeans. I never had Latin Food until I was in my 20's. We ate primarily Americna food, but frequently had Polish food. Having friends over to dinner, I remember seeing the look on thier faces when my dear father tried to get them to eat a little more cabbage soup with saurkraut and pigs feet. I grew up with home made pierogi, kielbasa, pickles, beets, horseradish, cucumbers in sour cream and ... mushrooms, wonderful mushrooms fried in butter with onions and mixed with sour cream. Then there were the fragrant dried mushrooms sent to my grandparents from relatives in Poland. Mushrooms personally gathered from the forests of Poland. My grandmother had chickens that were primarily used for eggs. Eating an actual chicken was a big deal. The way the rich people like Martha Stewart can afford to live with vegetable gardens, homebaked goods, chickens, etc was how the working class lived in those days due to lack of money. And I envied the kids with the Wonder Bread. Once a week we would stop by the German Bakery where we would buy a big almost black loaf of pumpernickel still warm from a brick oven. Acme can only dream of making bread as good as that. On Sundays after Mass we would stop by Stanley's Polish Bakery for the rye bread and Polish cheesecake. No, that's not why I chose that last name. Christmas Eve was a big deal and Catholics in those days didn't eat meat. There was a huge meal with fish and many, many dishes. You had to eat a little of each dish or you would have bad luck the following year. My mother would make her special secrect cryschici (fried dough and I'm messing up the spelling). Her secret was the assemly. Fried they would look like roses. The center had red and green dabs of jelly and all was sprinkled with powdered sugar. On Easter there was Polish ham surrounded by rings of Kielbasa and a babka. There was also this aspic like dish where you boiled pigs feet until the meat fell off and then mixed the liquid meat and shredded carrots until it gelled. My mother would put it in the cool cellar to set. 2. When did you first try another ethnic cuisine? While people didn't marry outside of ethnicity we all lived together. I remember the nice Italian lady next door, Lucy Emery, bringing us all sorts of Italian dishes. Now we never went crazy and ate eel, but had everthing else. Lucy and family never went crazy and ate the pigs feet. Mr. Barberrie would bring my father jugs of his homemade wine. I remeber the wonderful homemade italian cookies from the wedding of Lucy's daughter Carol. My mother was a waitress and one of the cooks in the bland American restaurants was a French man called Fern Oulette. He would make my mother these amazing cakes for special occasions. On Christmas we always had his Buche de Noel beautifully decoarted with marzipan mushrooms. He made the most amazing buttercream filling. No one, not Tartine, not Crixa not any fancy restaurant or bakery I've ever been to has ever come close to Fern's cakes. 3. When did you start noticing ethnic restaurants? Well, there was the Chinese place, but no one ate there. It was next to the bus stop and I would peer in there waiting for the bus. We would go to Ponzellis and I remember the antipasto plate. There was Nardelli's outstanding grinders. They are still in business today and as wonderful as ever. I remeber my dad taking us to Mama Leone's in New York City and all the wonderful Jewish Delis there. At 16 I had my first 'Asian' food ... a pupu platter in Hartford. We all thought that was quite the delicious dish. Yep, pretty much ethnic was Italian in my neck of the woods. 4. Do you remember which types of ethnic restaurants first opened in your neighborhood? What came after? And so on and so on. When I was five I knew I wanted to live in California, being influenced by Disneyland. At seven my destiny was sealed when I read Jack London's Call of the Wild. The dog Buck starts off living in "the sunny Santa Clara Valley'. I knew I wanted to live there and I did. So the minute I graduated from High School I left my home town. I've been back a few times. There's now a Taco Bell, but there still aren;t that many restaurants that are all that ethnic. The Chinese restaurant is gone. 5. What was the first ethnic meal that you had an ethnic friends house. Other than Lucy's, I had a French friend and remember at 10 going to dinner at her house. They had this special dish, I never will remember what it was but it was awful, awful awful. My mom taught me to be polite, so I suffered through it and had seconds. Collette suffered through our cabbage soup since her mother taught her to be polite. So when I moved to California I started to expand my horizons. I remember my first Mexican food at the Old Mill in Sunnyvale. It ws so exotic and I felt quite the woman of the world. A Korean coworker took me to a Korean Restaurant in Japantown and I had my first kimchee ... look out. Our California neighbors were Filipino and it was in their home I tried my first lumpia and pancit. Later, when my mother was in a nursing home, the Filipino nurses would invite me to share in occasional pot luck dinners. There was all that wonderful Chinese food .. Golden Gate's pork buns, Dim Sum at Yank Sing. But still nothing that exotic. As part of my job, I opened up a few International computer departments. I spent a year in Mexico where I learned Mexican didn't mean tacos. I spent some time in Taiwan and I remember the beautiful box of moon cakes the Sheraton gave me during the moon festival (yeah, moon cakes, the Chinese version I learned later of fruit cake). With my frequent flyer miles from work, I traveled from Greece up through England. I never had a meal or a cup of coffee in Italy that I didn't like. One of the best meals in my life was on one of those super trains going from Barcelona to Mddrid. Real china and linens and absolute drop dead great food. At a thee star restaurant in Paris, I told the waiter that in California we had wonderful wine too ... ouch .. the memory of that still hurts. THey WERE three star and were so charming and gracious and I remember every bite of that meal and the wine that tasted and smelled of wonderful apples. Outside of London I remember the clotted cream, strawberries and biscuits that I had at a castle. But it wasn't until I started participating in food forums (yeah, the other one), that the secret world of ethinc cuisines opened up ... It was like being invited into these peoples families and learning how to eat such lovely wonderful dishes. There was no going back. I hope the people on this board will invite me into their virtual kitchens and we can swap dishes, so to speak. In the next few days I'll do a round up of the best Polish Food in the Bay Area. I no longer eat Wonder Bread.
  8. Krys Stanley


    I heard that the take out was the better value and the food was better. Did you find that true?
  9. I was looking at the menu. Do you have a favorite of any of the three paellas? As someone who has eaten at this restuarant over the years, do you have any other favorites? Anything to avoid? How's the sangria?
  10. You know, the first time I went to Chuao, I didn't even try the parchita. I thought the few that I tried merited a second trip. If you didn't like the variety the first time, I would just stick with the parchita. If you notice my B list, some of those have the gritty taste you described. I would suggest the bannana chocolate though. and the picante at the top of my to try list. Yeah, especially the picante. I've been thinking about the goat cheese chocolate that I liked so much the first time. Unfortunatley I wolfed it down this time. I didn't pick up the nuacnes that I did the first time. You have to take your time with Chauo. Oh, well, I guess I'll need to visit the shop again. They sell cups of hot chocolate at the shop. If you like spicy try the Mayan. I do have to say about the San Diego area, there was a lot of good hot chocolate because of all the Mexican restaurants. Have you been to Juanitas tacos in Encinitas? Little joint, but great tacos. The beef taco that has a deep fried shell is the best. Juanita is famous for her carnitas, so I recommend that as well. Everything except tje beef is served on soft tacos. They also make their own ... I forget the name ... that carrot/onion/jalepeno condiment. Not everything is great here, but I can vouch for those. If I ever get back to that area, one of the first things I would buy is that beef taco. Now I've built it up too much. It can only be a let down. You've probably been to Especial del Norte for the soup, but the the Chicken Mole Poblano is better than any of the soups. Two whole chicken legs covered with a beautiful and tasty mole sauce. There is another chicken mole dish. You want the Poblano. I saw the Spanish people in the restaurant ordering this and it was very good.
  11. Valentine’s Day is coming up and IMO, the perfect gift to give is Chuao chocolate’s PARCHITA, a tiny heart shaped chocolate filled with passion fruit caramel. How perfect is that … hearts and passion fruit. Not as perfect as the taste. This really is the signature chocolate. I don’t even like passion fruit, but his was a revelation. Bite into the little heart and soft liquid caramel spills onto your tongue. Wait a beat at there is a tart passion fruit flavor. Based in San Diego, you can buy Chuao chocolates in both Northern and Southern California, as well as by mail order. This link will give you the locations. I agree with Jschln that not all Chuao chocolate is equal. Some is better, to me, than others. However, if all they made was that parchita, it would be enough. Chuao is pricy. I have tried most of them and my impression of them is below in order of preference. There is also a B list that I would avoid. Last week I stopped by the Palo Alto shop to see if Chuao was as good as in the original Encinitas shop where you can watch the chocolates being made. It was. They were out of the parchita (sob), but I had the Chevere and a flavor I had not seen before, Spicy Mayan. This little square was what I love about Chuao. There is the initial bite and then other flavors make themselves know. I bit into the Spicy Mayan and thought, “Nice chocolate. Where’s the spice?” Then, a few seconds later the chili introduced itself to my tongue. I don’t know how they do that. They also make two types of Venezuelan hot chocolate. One is the regular, the other is spiced with chili. This was a review in the San Diego Union Tribute when Chuao opened. It gives a little background on the chocolate. More reviews are on the website. Not that that means much. There is a lot of upscale chocolate that win universal acclaim and I would not eat it for free. Detailed descriptions of each choclate, along with pictures are on the Chuao website. WOULD BUY OR GIVE AS GIFTS (in order of preference). CHEVERE: who would have thought that goat cheese, pear Williams butter cream and crushed black pepper corns would be this good. Like tangy chocolate cheesecake, CAMBUR: Banana and brown sugar caramel … mmmm …. You would think more chocolate makers would combine banana and chocolate. PICANTE: I never imagined raisin, cabernet caramel, spiced up with pasilla chili and cayenne pepper could be such a winning combination ZEN: I contemplated the lovely white chopped ginger. Missed the tea flavor, but it didn’t matter. MELAO: A salt butter caramel with the salt enhancing the soft caramel interior. . MARACA: macadamia nuts, dark caramel, rum these flavors really worked well together and complemented the dark chocolate coating. GRAN CACAO: I Wondered what 73% cocoa chocolate meant. It’s almost like chocolate liqueur it is so rich. Really, it tastes alcoholic, but it’s not. HONEY TRUFFLE: Cream orange blossom honey ganache thin dark choclate shell, coated with powdered sugar … lovely. , MULATO: almond marzipan and fine pieces of roasted macadamia nuts just was tasty. The bronze glitter would make a nice presentation at a dinner party. Very elegant. MIGHT BUY AGAIN TO ROUND OUT A GIFT BOX, BUT MY OWN B LIST. COCO CANELLE: Upscale almond joy. A whole roasted almond covered with soft coconut flakes blended with a touch of cinnamon ALMOND TRUFFLE: A center of chocolate hazelnut and almond praline dipped in Venezuelan milk chocolate. I loved the roasted almond and pistachio slices covering the truffle. The ground almond.hazelnut center was lost by the assertive coating and just seemed gritty. CACIQUE: Rum/raisin flavored, but much too subtle. There was the tiniest hint of rum in the after taste,. GRIGNOTTINES: Just not as good as the description. Roasted and caramelized almond slivers, mixed with finely chopped pistachios and orange peel, blended together with dark Venezuelan chocolate NOCCELLO: I’m just not a hazelnut fan. FRAMBOISE: This is just me. I’m not a fan of “Pate de Fruit",. No matter how excellent, they just remind me of the chocolate jelly candies in my childhood Whitman sampler. The candies people would take a bite out of and put back in the box. This is very good, but not for a tasteless creature such as myself. LE CITRON: Ok, but the lemon pulp blended in a soft caramel with fresh mint infused cream was too subtle for my tastes. CARDAMON: Not a cardamon fan MODENA: Another description that didn’t match the taste caramel deglazed with strawberry pulp and balsamic vinegar from modena. TIRAMISU: This is the only one that was really off target for me. I would have said German chocolate cake rather than tiramisu. Mascarpone cheese and coffee liquor DIDN’T TRY MUSIU: Creamy filling spiced with cinnamon and a touch of grand Marnier covered with Venezuelan dark chocolate. GIANDUJA: Hazelnut and almond paste enhanced with fresh vanilla and a hint of coffee, covered in Venezuelan milk chocolate. MOROCHO: One layer of almond and hazelnut praline paste; one layer of dark chocolate butter cream with a hint of Calvados, covered with Venezuelan milk chocolate. RIO CARIBE: Artisan made almond and hazelnut praline covered with Venezuelan milk chocolate. WILD TRUFFLE: A dark rich ganache dipped in dark Venezuelan chocolate and delicately rolled in cocoa powder.
  12. Thanks so much. I think I have food issues. I will actually visit that market when I'm in LA. In a different ethnicity, I really miss the El Tigre Mexican super market in Escondido. THey have branches, but that one is so excellent ... and there is a great paletteria next door that makes their own fruit popsicles. I wish we had something like that in NoCal.
  13. I know kim chee about Korean Foods .. that’s it kim chee. So when jschyun mentioned Korean Plaza market in the ‘Newcomers Essentials’ topic, I probably would not have visited, but she said it had a bakery. Well, bakery crosses all ethnicities for me. I never met a bakery I didn’t like. The store is amazing. A Berkeley Bowl of Korean Food with lines of cars spilling out to Telegraph Avenue vying for the next open spot. The small bakery counter had a lot of things that looked like what you see in a Chinese bakery. I selected a pumpkin bun and a pretty piece of sponge cake like a jelly roll. I forgot the name. This was not only pretty, but delicious. It had a light butter cream instead of jelly. In the center were green and melon colored pieces of sponge cake. I would buy this again. I would serve this as dessert to guests. The pumpkin bun had a nice sweet roll exterior, but the pumpkin wasn’t too pumpkiny. More of a bean paste taste. Ok, but I’ll try something else next time. I hope there is someone out there who shops here and can direct me on what to buy. There is an outstanding array of all kinds of prepared foods spanning one whole wall of the store. In the front there is a section of hot foods like long beans with shrimp and steamed buns. There are four big bins of little round fish cakes. Do these get eaten as is? Do you eat them cold? It is a full market with shelves of Korean groceries, freezers full of Korean food, a produce section, plus household items. Kim chee jars, as it happens, are on sale this week. If you want pealed garlic, this is the place to buy it with huge bags in the produce section. I was looking at the ginko nuts. I need to find out how to eat these first. Maybe my next trip. Anyway, I’d appreciate suggestions on what is good to eat. Probably something along the tamer lines to start. It seems like there was something with ginger and peanuts. I don’t want to start with the octopus. Speaking of something unusual that caught my eye … I might have copied this name down wrong. I was intrigued by the green, I mean GREEN, little plastic container marked ascidian. All I could find was that this was “minute sedentary marine invertebrate having a saclike body with siphons through which water enters and leaves” It didn’t look fishy. It looked like shredded something, but GREEN. If anything, I would have guessed seaweed. This was like a free trip to Korea with the advantage that most stuff was marked in English as well as Korean. I’ll definitely be stopping in to try a little of this and that. I hope I can get some hints on where to start.
  14. If you want chocolate heaven, try the caramel truffle from XOX. Of the many, many reviews that you can read on the site, Chocolitier says it best "As authentic French truffles should be, XOX truffles are small, slightly irregular shaped, hand-rolled treasures with a dense ganache center that quickly melts into rich buttery softness in your mouth." They are all good, but that caramel truffle is a weak in the knees, oh my goodness bite of wonderfulness. Other favorites of mine are the peanut butter, black and white, and Casimira's Favourite. They have a vegan version (this is SF), but unless you are vegan, skip it. It is good, but just can't compare with the full fat dairy version. If you buy a cup of Graffeo coffee, you choose a free truffle. They opened a new site in Oakland and it seems some stores like the local Nieman Marcus, Oakville Grocery and local Whole Foods sell XOX now. Check the site. You can check the links on the list above, but I'm not a fan of the highly praised local chocolitiers Recchuiti or Scharffen Berger the taste doesn't live up to the extravagant cost. Joseph Schmidt doesn't thrill me flavor wise, but I shop there often (good chocolate bark though). However, he is a master at absolutely, drop dead stunning looking choclate. This sculpture gallery will give you an idea. In the summer there are clever choclate lobsters, starfish, seashells. The Halloween, Easter, Christmas and Valentines day chocolates are wonderful. He celebrates in chocolate the seasons and all the holidays. His colector's boxes are wonderful. Pretty tins and stunning boxes hold his chocolates. I still have a Chinese dragon from one Chinese New Year's. I know you can buy these accross the country, but there is more of a selection at the little shop on 16th st. Sees is just for me, the best hands down selection when I want an unfancy great quality box of mixed chocolates.
  15. I was there stricktly for the Chauo ... and they were out of my favorite. However, the place was busy and the atmosphere was not appealing to me. Very nice display case of desserts, but I went next door to a place called Tea Time to have a crumpet with huckleberry jelly. The crumpet and jelly were good if not outstanding. Large selection of loose leave teas, but I can't vouch for them. I tried the iced Thai tea, which is ... Iced Thai tea. You can't judge a tea house on that. It is a great place for tea ware and it does cross the Asian / English barriers. You are as likely to find pretty bone china English tea sets as well as Chinese pots. Big selection of tea books you can read thru. Even had the children's book, "I'm a little tea pot". Again, based on a crumpet and an iced tea, I can't tell. It was empty while Cafe Coupa was jumping. Tea Time has been in business for 7 years though, so it must be doing something right. Doesn't match Far Leaves Tea, Celadon or Imperial Tea in terms of ambiance though.
  16. I've seen Might Leaf at quite a few of the better restaurants. I've been drinking Asian tea for the past few years, but every now and then I don't feel like bresing a pot. So I'll give Mighty Leaf a try.
  17. Do you have a favorite bagged tea? I really like a tea called Mariage Frères that I first tried in a three star restaurant in Paris. I understand there are local sources, but I haven’t checked them out yet. Really outstanding brew. The website is French only. I was at Café Coupa in Palo Alto checking out the Chaou chocolate selection and on the counter were tins of Tea Forte. Each tin carries two silk tea bags wrapped in a paper pyramid. The tea bags are pyramid shaped with a wire like string that has a tiny green leaf attached. There were notes about all the positive press this tea was getting and it was a favorite of Oprahs. I tried the Flora, a herbal tea described as “A ruby red herbal tea that blends crimson flowers with cinnamon sticks. This full-flavored tea has soft fruit notes, and makes a wonderful afternoon reprieve” The tea is $2.50 for one little silken bag. If you put it next to Celestial Seasoning and did a blind tasting, I don’t think you could tell the difference. I’m going to start taking Oprah’s food recommendations with a bit of skepticism. I might have just tried the wrong flavor, but I’m not willing to shell out $5 a tin to experiment after this experience. Bay Breads has this organic tea that comes in beautiful little silk tea bags. I want to like it but it doesn’t taste like much to me. In the category of supermarket tea, I’m a Celestial Seasoning person. And in the plain normal tea, I like Red Rose. IMO. Republic of Tea is too pricy and not that great.
  18. I stopped by the Portuguese Bakery in Santa Clara yesterday to try the Malacadas (Sugar Doughnuts). Shaped like a fritter, Malacadeas have the taste and texture of a Mexican churro. Covered with granulated sugar on the outside, the interior looks like a cream puff with large holes which, in my case, were filled with strawberry jelly. They weren’t bad. I might go back some time during the morning when they are fresh from fryer. I made it in the door just before closing. The web site also mentions different sugar doughnuts called Filhos. The woman at the bakery said they were the same, just called different things on different islands. I never think of Portugal has having islands, but I forget about the Azores. This link has recipes for both malacadas and filhos. They seem a little different. Looking at the recipe, I see there are lots of eggs in both. The interior of the malacada was a deep egg yolky color.
  19. Thanks for the info about the fourth of July. Perhaps I should hang out there more and get to know some of the residents so I can visit on the fourth. Quite a bit of the island is open, but I didn't go beyond the area that was private housing. There is a bus to the island that seems to circle it. Now Crossroads Cafe isn't fancy. However, one of the best outdoor views in the area is on the patio. On one side is a view of the East Bay. Turn you head the other way and there is all of the city in its glory. Pick up a bowl of soup with your picnic if the cafe is open.
  20. There are two places to eat on Treasure Island, Crossroads Cafe by the Bay and Job Corps Advanced Culinary Academy Fine Dining Restaurant. I ate at the pleasant Crossroads Café run by Delancy Street. On the Crossroads Café Link, if you click on Special Events, you will find buildings available for private events like Casa de La Vista. On Tuesday thru Thursday at noon, you can get a three course meal for $10 at the culinary academy. I haven’t tried this place yet. You must make a reservation in advance. The web page has an interesting looking sample menu. Crossroads Café is a pretty white café with blue trim, located just in front of the gate on Treasure Island. It is much the same as Delancy Streets’ Crossroad Café in San Francisco, menu wise. For $2.71 I had a very good tart yellow tomato tarragon soup. It came with a small piece of foccacia. There were nice pieces of tomato in the soup. There is an outdoor patio. Indoors you can sit near the windows that overlook the Marina and the East Bay Bridge. There are counter seats on the other window that have an amazing view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge. There are espresso drinks and Thanksgiving coffee. Juices, fountain sodas and Italian sodas are available. There’s a small Mexican selection. Sandwiches (about $5) include tuna, grilled cheese, deli meats, an Italian sub, hamburgers and hot dogs ($2.25). Sandwiches come with a bag of chips. Lots of people ordered the burger. Salads include garden, Caesar, Taco and a Mediterranean plate. At breakfast you can have an egg and cheese sandwich, toast, bagels, fresh fruit, and pastries. You order at the counter. Paper towels are in cups that have the following quote by W.E.B. DuBois “The important thing is this, to be able to at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we may become”. Food for the mind as well as food for the tummy. Who knows, you might see the cast or crew of Rent at the café. Today SF Supervisor Tony Hall dropped. He was with an intriguing looking man in a European black pinstripe suit and dramatic black hat (it ain’t the dress code for the café). I’m guessing it was someone Hall was trying to convince to do business on the island. This is my first time on the Island since it was opened to the public. It is lovely. On the east side of the island there is a long drive by the bay with a few picnic benches. Seems like it would be a great place to watch Fourth of July fireworks. There are a number of buildings on the side facing San Francisco that would make great restaurant sites, IMO. The large windows face directly on the bay. Treasure Island is a town waiting to happen. All the buildings are there … church, theatre, bowling alley, etc. All are just waiting to be occupied. There are sports fields. On the baseball field there was a flock of about 50 wild geese. As mentioned earlier, many of these places can be rented for special events. It seems like the chapel, with the stunning view of San Francisco, would be a great place to have a wedding. The only other business currently is a mini market. Skip it. It is strictly a neighborhood grocery.
  21. I think this depends on the child, IMO you can't generalize. There are adults that should not be dining at restaurants with with tasting menus. I have a friend who's nine year old has a culinary knowledge that surpasses most adults. It always amuses me to get into a serious dissucession about, say the merits of casoulet. However, the child I mentioned at Towns End did not belong in any restaurant, and, neither did his parents. The fact that some of these upscale restaurants are offering children's food is a welcome by the owners of these restaurants. Anyway, kids are not going to be dining out very late anyway. I don't think you will see them at prime time, but rather at lunch or earlier in the evening. Perhaps it should be renamed from the "Early Bird" special to the "Big Bird" special.
  22. We are so fortunate to have so much excellent bread in this area. What do you like? I love the Como bread by DOWNTOWN BAKERY (at Ferry Plaza Market). Dense and yeasty, I use thick slabs of it for breakfast with jam. In the summer, it is perfect for fresh tomatoes, absorbing the juices without falling apart. My favorite dish to welcome autumn is gypsy peppers and sausage fried in Sciabica’s spicy, emerald green first press olive oil with a thick slab of Como bread. I don't think this is traditional Como bread like the one at Grand Central. It is more like a heavy loaf of white bread. It doesn't seem to match the recipes for Como bread that use biga and cornmeal. There is no cornmeal in this bread. MOSCOW AND TBILIS BAKERY STORE on Geary has a nice European rye . It is not your artisan crusty rye, but close to the rye a lot of the neighborhood Polish bakeries made in the area I grew up in. Not worth going out of your way for, but nice if you are in the neighborhood. It could be a nostalgia thing for me. In terms of baguettes to go with my cheese, I like, in order of preference, Cheeseboard/Arizmundi’s, Acme and Bay Breads. Is there a baguette you like better?
  23. Comllona I was wondering which restaurants you consider child freindly. It sounds though you are pretty comfortable taking your daughter any where. Maybe the question is are there child unfriendly restaurants out there? I haven't been there in years, but at Chez Spencer the owner had a son that was a toddler, so the outside dining area had a little sandbox. Townsend, besides getting my vote for one of the best breaksfasts in town, is one of the most child friendly. Every now and then you get those parents who think they are at home. Besides the parents being impossible, the child threw scrambled eggs all over the floor without the parents correcting jr. Then they left not much of a tip. The staff was always polite and just quietly cleaned up. I told the server what a great job they did and left a few extra bucks in my tip. One of the waitresses at Bizou, Christine, has a toddler and is an earth mother type. I'm sure she would make a table with a child very comfortable and probably fawn over the child. I haven't seen high chairs at Bizou or Chez Spencer and there isn't really stroller room, so probably they would be good for older children. To be fair, Viognier was the only place that offered the corn dog (Adell's sausage?) Most of the choices seemed to be in the pizza, sandwich, and breakfast item category.
  24. I love that NY thread. Great description of what this is and the different types and even pictures. Anyway, I know nothing about shawarma. However Goood Frikin' Chicken has chicken shawarma. I am suspecting the shawarma is good because their roast chicken is marinated overnight and not just the skin, but the chicken meat carries the taste of the spice. They have a mighty fine golden pita that comes with the chicken. They also have this Middle Eastern Dish: Mosakhan … is listed as chunks of chicken smothered in onions, olive oil, summack and pine nuts, rolled in thin sheet of bread and grilled to a crisp. Have you tried this place? Goood Frikin' Chicken. 10 29th St., Ste. 10 (at Mission), S.F. (415) 970-2428. Daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
  25. Melkor, Have you tried Keller's Bouchon Bakery? It opened and then I never heard anything else about it. I was out of the Bay Area though shorthly after it opened, so it might be me. Anyone have opinions? After reading this article about Bouchon, Della Frattoria and a number of other area bakeries, for some reason the thought of having a Bouchon birthday cake seems appealing.
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